Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek
A spy of Ravana named Akampana rushes to him to break the news of annihilation of Janasthaana by Rama. He suggests Ravana to abduct Seetha. Because parting with Seetha causes grief to Rama and thereby he dies. On thinking for while, Ravana goes to Mareecha seeking his help in abducting Seetha. Mareecha while explaining Rama's capabilities, reminds us of the incarnations of Vishnu, and advises Ravana to be content with what he has.
This chapter is removed from the critical edition and retained by traditional versions There are discussions on this chapter whether it is the original work or an interpolated one. Some more details are given in the endnote. Akampana's character inevitably has continuity in the war scene at the end.
tvaramaNaH tato gatvaa janasthaanaat aka.mpanaH |
pravishya la.nkaam vegena raavaNam vaakyam abraviit || 3-31-1
1. tataH= then; akampanaH tvaramaNaH= Akampana, hurriedly; janasthaanaat gatvaa= from Janasthaana, on going; vegena lankaam pravishya= speedily, Lanka, entering; raavaNam vaakyam abraviit= to Ravana, word, spoke.
Then on going hurriedly from Janasthaana and on speedily entering Lanka Akampana spoke these words to Ravana. [3-31-1]
janasthaana sthitaa raajan rakshasaa bahavo hataaH |
kharaH ca nihataH sa.mkhye kthamcit aham aagataH || 3-31-2
2. raajan= oh, king; janasthaana sthitaa= in Janasthaana, positioned; bahavaH rakshasaa hataaH= many, demons, are killed; samkhye kharaH ca nihataH= in war, Khara, also, killed; aham kathamcit aagataH= I have, somehow, come here.
"Oh, king, many demons positioned in Janasthaana are killed, Khara is also killed in war, and somehow I have come here. [3-31-2]
dhvani/allusion: Janasthaana is the castle-gateway to Lanka. Lanka is a city built within its castle-walls and it has no countrysides or villages at least, annexing it. If Janasthaana is ruined, Lanka is also going ruin soon, because none can crossover the bulwark-like-Janasthaana. raajan 'oh, king of demons...' 'when demons in Janasthaana are ruined, your kingship gets ruined...' bahavaH 'many...' 'not one or two, many demons that are guarding Lanka from Janasthaana are hataaH 'dead...' Then Ravana may ask 'what is it Khara doing then?' kharaH ca 'Khara, also' is dead. By this ca 'also' Trishira, Duushana etc., are also reported as dead.
evam ukto dashagriivaH kruddhaH sa.mrakata locanaH |
aka.mpanam uvaaca idam nirdahan iva tejasaa || 3-31-3
3. evam uktaH dasha griivaH= thus, said to, ten, faced [ten-voiced, ten-headed] one [Ravana]; kruddhaH samrakata locanaH= infuriated, with bloodshot, eyes; akampanam uvaaca idam= to Akampana, spoke, this; [cakshuSaa] tejasaa nirdahan iva= with his [eyes,] radiance, to burn down [whole world,] as though.
Thus said, then that ten-faced Ravana is infuriated with bloodshot eyes, and as though to burn down whole world with his radiance he spoke this to Akampana. [3-31-3]
kena bhiimam janasthaanam hatam mama paraasunaa |
ko hi sarveSu lokeSu gatim na adhigamiSyati || 3-31-4
4. para asunaa= by one with gone, lives [one whose lives are gone, ci-devant, dead and gone]; kena= by whom; mama bhiimam janasthaanam= my, indomitable, Janasthaana; hatam= is destroyed; sarveSu lokeSu= in all, worlds; kaH= who is it; gatim na adhigamiSyati hi= recourse, not, attains, indeed - who chose not to survive in any world.
"Who is that dead-and-gone that has destroyed my indomitable Janasthaana? Who is it that has indeed opted for no recourse in all of the worlds? [3-31-4]
na hi me vipriyam kR^itaa shakyam maghavataa sukham |
praptum vaishravaNena api na yamena ca viSNunaa || 3-31-5
5. me vi priyam kR^itaa= to me, against, appreciable [unappreciative deed,] on doing - evoking indignation ; maghavataa sukham praptum= by Indra, happiness; na shakyam hi= to get, not, possible, really; vaishravaNena api= by Kubera, even; na= not [possible]; yamena na= by Yama, no; na ca viSNunaa= not, even, by Vishnu.
"Evoking indignation in me it is really impossible for Indra to be happy; even for Kubera - no; for Yama - no; why them, even Vishnu cannot be happy. [3-31-5]
kaalasya ca api aham kalo daheyam api paavakam |
mR^ityum maraNa dharmeNa sa.myojayitum utsahe || 3-31-6
6. aham kaalasya ca api kalaH= I am, of Time-god, also, even, the [end] Time; paavakam api daheyam= Fire-god, even, I will burn down; mR^ityum maraNa dharmeNa= Death, deathliness, with the virtue of; sam yojayitum= to conjoin with; utsahe= I enthuse - capable of.
"I am the End-Time for the Time-god himself, I will burn down the Fire-god, and I am capable of conjoining Death with the virtue of deathliness. [3-31-6]
vaatasya tarasaa vegam nihantum api ca utsahe |
daheyam api sa.mkruddhaH tejasaa aaditya paavakau || 3-31-7
7. samkruddhaH= if enraged; tejasaa= with my radiance; aaditya paavakau api= Sun-god, Fire-god, even; daheyam= I will incinerate; tarasaa= by my speed - impetuosity; vaatasya vegam api ca= Air-god's, speed, also, even; nihantum utsahe= to kill [ to halt,] I am excited to.
"If I am enraged I will incinerate Sun-god or Fire-god just with my radiance, I will halt even the impetuosity of Wind-god with that of mine." Thus Ravana said about himself. [3-31-7]
tathaa kruddham dashagriivam kR^itaa.njaliH aka.mpanaH |
bhayaat sa.mdigdhayaa vacaa raavaNam yaacate abhayam || 3-31-8
8. akampanaH kR^ita anjaliH= Akampana, with adjoined-palms; tathaa kruddham dashagriivam= in that way, at the enraged, decahedral demon [Ravana]; bhayaat samdigdhayaa vacaa= with fear, hesitant, with voice; raavaNam a bhayam yaacate= with Ravana, no, fear [clemency,] besought.
Akampana with his palms adjoined and voice hesitant with fear sought for the clemency of that decahedral demon Ravana who is enraged in that way. [3-31-8]
The words decahedron, decahedral - a solid figure with ten faces - are the fancied usage for Ten-Throated or Ten-Faced demon. Ravana has also got the name of dashagriiva, and he is a 'solid' demon.
dashagriivo abhayam tasmai pradadau rakshasaam varaH |
sa visrabdho abraviit vaakyam asa.ndigdham aka.mpanaH || 3-31-9
10. rakshasaam varaH= among demons, the supreme; dashagriivaH= ten headed Ravana; tasmai abhayam pradadau= to him [to Akampana,] pardon, gave; saH akampanaH= he that, Akampana; visrabdhaH= trusting in; a+sandigdham= not, falteringly; vaakyam abraviit= sentence, said.
When the supremo of demons Dasha-griiva pardoned him then that Akampana spoke these words, unfalteringly and trustfully. [3-31-9]
putro dasharathaH te si.mha sa.mhanano yuvaa |
raamo naama mahaaska.ndho vR^itta aayata mahaabhujaH || 3-31-10
10. simha samhananaH= lion like, in built; yuvaa= youthful one; putraH dasharathaH= son, of Dasharatha; mahaa skandhaH= with mighty shoulders; vR^itta aayata mahaa bhujaH= round, lengthy, with great arms; raamaH naama= Rama, one known as; [asti= is there.]
"He is a youth whose shoulders are mighty, arms round and lengthy, built like that a lion, who is the son of Dasharatha and known as Rama. [3-31-10]
shyaamaH pR^ithuyashaaH shriimaan atulya bala vikramaH |
hataH tena janasthaane kharaH ca saha duuSaNaH || 3-31-11
11. That Rama is - shyaamaH= blue-black - in complexion; pR^ithu yashaaH= highly, renowned one; a+ tulya bala vikramaH= not, matching, in might, in valour; shriimaan= a magnificent one; tena= by him; janasthaane= in Janasthaana; saha duuSaNaH kharaH ca= with, Duushana, Khara, is also; hataH= killed.
"He is blue-black in complexion, a highly renowned one with matchless might and valour, a magnificent one such as he is he slew Duushana along with Khara in Janasthaana." [3-31-11]
aka.mpana vacaH shrutvaa raavaNo raakshasaadhipa |
naagendra iva niHshvasya idam vacanam abraviit || 3-31-12
12. raakshasa adhipa raavaNaH= demon's, chief, Ravana; akampana vacaH shrutvaa= Akampana's, words, on hearing; naaga indra iva niHshvasya= serpent, kingly, like, hissing; idam vacanam abraviit= this, words, spoke.
On hearing the words of Akampana, the chief of demons Ravana, spoke these words hissing like a kingly serpent. [3-31-12]
sa surendreNa sa.myukto raamaH sarva amaraiH saha |
upayaato janasthaanam bruuhi kaccit aka.mpana || 3-31-13
13. akampana= oh, Akampana; saH raamaH= that one, Rama; sura indreNa= with, Indra; sarva amaraiH saha= all, immortals - gods, along with; samyuktaH= associated by; janasthaanam upayaataH kaccit= to Janasthaana, arrived, whether - that is the question; bruuhi= you tell.
"The question is whether that Rama arrived at Janasthaana associated with Indra and along with all of the immortal gods? Oh, Akampana, speak about it. [3-31-13]
raavaNasya punar vaakyam nishamya tad aka.mpanaH |
aacacakshe balam tasya vikramam ca mahaatmanaH || 3-31-14
14. akampanaH= Akampana; raavaNasya tat vaakyam nishamya= Ravana's, that, sentence, on hearing; mahaa aatmanaH tasya= of great-souled one, his - Rama's; balam vikramam ca= about might, valour, also; punaH aacacakshe= again, detailed.
Akampana again detailed about the might and valour of that great souled Rama on hearing that sentence of Ravana. [3-31-14]
raamo naama mahaatejaaH shreSTaH sarva dhanuSmataam |
divya astra guNa sa.mpannaH paramdharma gato yudhi || 3-31-15
15. raamaH naama= Rama, means [not named as]; mahaatejaaH= great-resplendent; sarva dhanuS mataam shreSTaH= among all, archers, ablest one; divya astra guNa sampannaH= divine, missiles, attributes, endowed with; yudhi= in warfare; param dharma gataH= supreme, in conduct, he has got [conducts himself, or, purandara samaH= Indra, equalling.]
"Rama means someone who is highly resplendent, an ablest archer among all archers, one who is endowed with divine missiles and divine attributes, and he is the one who conducts warfare with a supreme conduct. [3-31-15]
tasya anuruupo balabvaan raktaaksho dundubhi svanaH |
kaniiyaan lakshmaNo bhraataa raakaa shashi nibha aananaH || 3-31-16
16. balavaan= a mighty one; rakta akshaH= redly, eyed one; dundubhi svanaH= like drumbeat, with a voice; raakaa shashi nibha aananaH= full-moon, in shine, one with a face; lakshmaNaH [naama]= Lakshmana [known as]; tasya= his [Rama's]; anuruupaH kaniiyaan bhraataa= selfsame, younger, brother.
"And a mighty one with redly eyes and drumbeat like voice, and whose face is shiny like the full-moon is Rama's selfsame younger brother known as Lakshmana. [3-31-16]
sa tena saha sa.myuktaH paavakena anilo yathaa |
shriimaan raaja varaH tena janasthaanam nipaatitam || 3-31-17
17. shriimaan raaja varaH= glorious one, among princes, best - the nonpareil prince; saH= he that Rama; anilaH paavakena yathaa= wind, with fire, as with; tena saha samyuktaH= with him [with Lakshmana,] along with, associated with; tena janasthaanam nipaatitam= by such a [Rama,] Janasthaana, is destroyed.
"Alike the wind associating with fire this Lakshmana is associated with that glorious and nonpareil prince Rama, and that firestorm, namely Rama, destroyed Janasthaana. [3-31-17]
na eva devaa mahatmano na atra kaaryaa vicaaraNaa |
sharaa raameNa tu utsR^iSTaa rukmapu.nkhaaH patatriNaH || 3-31-18
sarpaaH pa.ncaananaa bhuutvaa bhakshayanti sma raakshasaan |
18, 19a. mahatmanaH devaa na eva= great-souled, gods, they are not, that way; atra= in that matter; vicaaraNaa na kaaryaa= doubt, need not, be done; raameNa utsR^iSTaa= by Rama, unloosened; rukma punkhaaH tu patatriNaH sharaa= gold, finned, feather-winged, arrows, are but; panca aananaa sarpaaH bhuutvaa= five, faced, serpents, on becoming; raakshasaan bhakshayanti sma= demons, to consume, they have started to.
"They are not any great souled gods or any heavenly beings as such, hence there is no need to doubt about it. Rama unloosened his gold-finned and feather-winged arrows, which on becoming five-faced serpents started consuming the demons. [3-31-18]
yena yena ca gacChanti raakshasaa bhaya karshitaaH || 3-31-19
tena tena sma pashyanti raamam eva agrataH sthitam |
ittham vinaashitam janasthaanam tena tava anagha || 3-31-20
19b, 20. bhaya karshitaaH raakshasaa= by fear, smitten, demons; yena yena gacChanti ca= by which, by which p way, in whichever pathway, are going, while; tena tena= in that, in that - pathway [everywhere]; agrataH sthitam= afore, standing; raamam eva pashyanti sma= at Rama, alone, are seeing, they became so; anagha= oh, merited Ravana; tena= by him; ittham= in this way; tava janasthaanam vi naashitam= your, Janasthaana, totally, ruined.
"To whichever nook those demons smitten by fear of those serpent-like are fleeing, they have seeing Rama alone standing afore them in that corner, and oh, merited king Ravana, in this way your Janasthaana is totally ruined by that Rama. [3-31-19b, 20] [3-31-19]
Rama appeared to have assumed fourteen-thousand forms of one Rama svecChaa gR^ihiita dehaiH, and appeared confronting on the path of each and every demon who is trying to take shelter in a corner. Rama further appeared in each of the objects the demons wanted to pick up and fight back, say trees, boulders etc. raamam eva agrataH sthitam pashyanti - Tiirtha. Because the demons are smitten by fear, that fear reflected one Rama as fourteen thousand Rama-s, and it is not any divine trick or magic done by Rama. - Govindaraja. It is same with Kamsa in Bhaagavata when he sees one Krishna as many Krishna-s in his fear.
aka.mpana acaH shrutvaa raavaNo vaakyam abraviit |
gamiSyaami janasthanam raamam hantum sa lakshmaNam || 3-31-21
21. akampana vacaH shrutvaa= Akampana's, words, on hearing; raavaNaH vaakyam abraviit= Ravana, sentence, said; sa lakshmaNam raamam hantum= with, Lakshmana, Rama, to kill; janasthanam gamiSyaami= to Janasthaana I wish to go.
On hearing the words of Akampana Ravana said these words, "I will to go to Janasthaana to kill Rama along with Lakshmana." [3-31-21]
atha evam ukte vacane provaaca idam aka.mpanaH |
shruNu raajan yathaa vR^ittam raamasya bala pauruSam || 3-31-22
22. evam vacane ukte= this way, sentence, while being said; tataH= then; akampanaH idam pra uvaaca= Akampana, this, said; raajan= oh, king; yathaa vR^ittam= as, happened [ in actuality]; raamasya bala pauruSam= Rama's, spirit, grit; shruNu= you listen.
When Ravana said so then Akampana said these words in reply, " listen, oh, king, what all has happened, and of what in actuality is Rama's spirit and grit. [3-31-22]
Akampana is saying that what all has happened to the dead demons is in accordance with their deeds done when they are alive yathaa vR^ittam 'as they have done inhuman deeds thus they got punishment.' These dead demons are the actual troublemakers to the sages at the behest of Ravana. yad˜ na khalu yajñasya vighna kart˜ mah˜bala× || 1-20-18 As said by Sage Vishvamitra, Ravana does not cause any hindrances to ritual, but these hench-demons do. So, they reaped the fruits of their actions. Or, raamasya vR^ittam: itihaasa puraaNa prakiirtita vR^ittam 'that which is enshrined in legends and mythology, I will tell those aspects of Rama.' yathaa vat balam pauruSam 'as it is his might and grit...' 'I will let you know about them...' So said Akampana to Ravana. - Tiirtha.
asaadhyaH kupito raamo vikrameNa mahaayashaaH |
aapa gaayaaH tu puurNaayaa vegam pariharet sharaiH || 3-31-23
23. mahaa yashaaH raamaH= highly renowned, Rama; vikrameNa a+saadhyaH= by braving against, not, conquerable; kupitaH [raamaH]= when infuriated; puurNaayaa= plethoric; aapa gaayaaH= with waters, coursing - of river; vegam= onrush; sharaiH pariharet= with arrows, will curb.
"Rama, the highly renolwned, is invincible just by braving against him, for that Rama in fury can stall the onrush of a plethoric river with his arrows. [3-31-23]
Rama does not tolerate the upheaval of the system thus he becomes infuriated kupitaH as and when anything unwarranted occurs. And this fury is a getup to Rama, but it is not his innate nature because ramayate it raamaH 'he who delights is Rama...' Thus he cannot always become furious. He is invincible just by brute-force vikrameNa a+saadhyaH . Thus he is approachable only in accordance with the set systems of attaining him. Further the word asaadhya is not coupled with any other sub-words upapada so he is invincible even to Brahma, Rudra, Indra et al. By this Vishnu's trivikrama incarnation is indicated. He can stop, or bifurcate the plethoric river stream just by his intention, leave alone arrows. bhay˜naka ˜varta þat˜kul˜ nadŸ m˜rgam dadau sindhu× iha þriya× pate× -- bhaagavata In Bhaagavata the tumultuous river gave way to carry Krishna to the other side. Thus the incarnation of Krishna, in earlier times, or in the forthcoming eras, is suggested. - Tiirtha. As a river gives way to fishes to swim, his matsya 'Fish...' incarnation is also suggested.
sa taaraa graha nakshatram nabhaH ca api avasaadayet |
asau raamaH tu siidantiim shriimaan abhyuddharet mahiim || 3-31-24
24. shriimaan asau raamaH tu= magnificent one, that, Rama, on his part; sa taaraa graha nakshatram= with, starlets, planets, stars; nabhaH ca api= firmament, also, even that also; he can; ava saadayet= to down, he collapses; siidantiim mahiim abhi uddharet= one that is sinking, earth, to up, he elevates.
"That magnificent Rama can collapse even the firmament along with its starlets, stars and planets, and he even can elevate the earth if it were to collapse. [3-31-24]
By the attributes of stars and planets to the firmament, the Golden-Egg hiraNya garbha is suggested. So, he is the Originator. In the incarnation as vikrama 'Dwarf-boy...' he set one of his feet on the yonder blue, hence the firmament has no value for him. siidantii mahiim uddharet Raising the sinking earth is suggestive of varaaha 'Wild Boar...' incarnation, where he uplifted drowning earth on the snoot of a wild boar. And again siidantii mahiim uddharet where mahi is taken as people, and it is said 'when people on earth are sinking/collapsing under tyranny, he uplifts them...' as he is the ultimate absolver and terminator of the creation. Govindaraja and Tiirtha.
bhitvaa velaam samudrasya lokaan aaplaavayet vibhuH |
vegam vaa api samudrasya vaaayum vaa vidhamet sharaiH || 3-31-25
25. vibhuH= lord Rama; bhitvaa samudrasya velaam= breaching, ocean's, shoreline; lokaan aaplaavayet= worlds, he will deluge; samudrasya vegam vaa api= of ocean, speed [turbulence,] or, even; vaaayum vaa= [or that causer of turbulence,] wind, even if; sharaiH vi dhamet= with arrows, verily, stalls.
"On breaching the shoreline of the ocean with his arrows that lord Rama can deluge worlds, and he can stem the tide of turbulent ocean, or can even stall the agent of that turbulence, namely the wind. [3-31-25]
The deluging worlds suggest samkarSaNa aspect. Govindaraja. Because he deluges all the worlds, he is yuga antakaH 'the epoch-ender...' The said 'Air' suggests other elements also, like Fire, Water etc., as said in pR^idvii apsu liiyate, aapaH tejasa liiyate 'earth merges in waters, waters merges in fire...' thus he can stem the tide of all the elements, taking samhR^itya from the next verse. Tiirtha.
sa.mhR^itya vaa punar lokaan vikrameNa mahaayashaaH |
shakataH shreSThaH sa puruSaH sraSTum punar api prajaaH || 3-31-26
26. vaa= or; mahaa yashaaH= great-glorious one; saH puruSaH shreSThaH= he that, among men, ablest one; punaH lokaan= again, worlds; vikrameNa= by his valour; samhR^itya= on destroying [dissolving]; prajaaH punaH api sraSTum shakataH= people [creation,] again, even, to create, he is capable.
"That great valorous and the ablest among humans is capable to destroy all the worlds with his valour, and even capable of creating the people again.
Or, again dissolving all the worlds into himself, that great contemplator who transcends all is even capable of creating the creation again from out of him. [3-31-26]
The word shR^STi does not mean crafting anything anew. It is from sR^ij 'releasing out...' The innate souls jiiva are not created anew, they are ever there. But they emerge out of Brahman and resolve in Him according to their karmic cycle. This is Gita's concept. He 'creates worlds again...' indicates that in earlier eras also he is the Creator. vikrameNa is not always 'by valorousness' but 'just by contemplation...' He can create, rather evolve from his within, because he is mahaa yashaH 'glorious...' since Veda-s say eko ha vai naaraayaNa, paraa asya shakti, etasya vaa a ksharasya How can a man do all these thing? For this it is said saH shreSThaH puruSaH 'he is more than, better than, transcendent, to humans...' but not 'best among men' as routinely said above. The word punaH 'again' is used twice, one belongs to the earlier dissolutions and creations and another to the forthcoming ones. Tiirtha.
na hi raamo dashagriiva shakyo jetum raNe tvayaa |
rakshasaam vaa api lokena svargaH paapa janaiH iva || 3-31-27
27. dashagriiva= oh, Dashagriiva; raamaH raNe tvayaa [vaa]= Rama, in war, by you, [either]; rakshasaam lokena vaa api= with demons, with the hosts of demons [not world,] or, even; jetum= to conquer; svargaH paapa janaiH iva= heavens, by sinning, people, like [as if conquered]; na shakyaH hi= not, possible, indeed.
"Oh, Dashagriiva, it is impossible to conquer that Rama in war for your, either singly or along with the hosts of the demon-supporters of yours, as one heaven cannot be won by many sinners. [3-31-27]
Ravana may question this spy as, 'When I am a ten-headed-demon, and he is single headed-human, why cannot I conquer him? The reply is 'you cannot, because you have only ten heads whereas each of the two brothers has sahasra SiirSaa puruSa, sahasra aksha... 'thousands of heads and thousands of eyes...' They are invincible whether you attack him singly or along with hosts of other sinister demons of your like, namely Namuchi, Hiranayakashyapa, Shambara et al. No one can conquer him. The analogy is like this. Though there are many sinners in many worlds, all put together are not able to conquer one single heaven. Tiirtha. anena p˜piÿ÷hai× svarga× pr˜ptum na þakyata iti uktam - - anena suk®tin˜m svarga× p˜piÿ÷h˜n˜m naraka iti s¨citam - dk .
na tam vadhyam aham manye sarvaiH deva asuraiH api |
ayam asya vadha upaaya tat ekamanaaH shR^iuNu || 3-31-28
28. sarvaiH deva asuraiH api= by all, gods, demons, even; tam= him, Rama; vadhyam= as killable; aham na manye= I, do not, think; asya vadha upaaya= him, to kill, idea; ayam= is this one; tat [mama]= that, from me; eka manaaH shR^iuNu= that, single, minded [attentively,] you listen.
"I do not think that he is killable even for all god and demons, and this is the idea to kill him, and to this you may listen attentively. [3-31-28]
The 'gods and demons...' is said in plural, deva asuraiH even then sarva 'all' is also incorporated. This is to say that even in the forthcoming eras also he is invincible. Then the spy says an unasked for opinion, aham manye 'I admit... that he is unkillable... though I belong to the clan of demons, on seeing Rama's valour in person, some wisdom dawned on me by the merit of my earlier births, but you are not able to open your eyes as yet, because you are still a stupid...' aasuriim yonim aapanaa muuDhaa janmani janmani... Gita 16-20. Tirtha.
Sage Valmiki is speaking through the tongue of this Akampana, the spy, about the invincibility of Rama. Govindaraja.
bhaaryaa tasya uttamaa loke siitaa naama sumadhyamaa |
shyaamaa sama vibhakta a.ngii strii ratnam ratna buuSitaa || 3-31-29
29. loke= in world; uttamaa= an excellent [woman]; shyaamaa= youthful; sama vibhakta angii= well, divided [symmetrical,] limbed; strii ratnam= lady, jewle-like; ratna buuSitaa= with jewels [jewellery,] adorned with; siitaa naama= Seetha, known as; su madhyamaa= slender, waisted one; tasya bhaaryaa= is his, wife.
"An excellent woman in the world is there, a youthful one with symmetrical limbs, a jewel-like lady adorned with jewellery, that slender-waisted one who is known as Seetha is his wife. [3-31-29]
na eva devii na gandharvii na apsaraa na ca pannagii |
tulyaa siimantinii tasyaa maanuSii tu kuto bhavet || 3-31-30
30. tasyaaH tulyaa siimantinii= her, equalling - liken to, mature one; devii na eva= goddess, not, thus; gandharvii na= gandharva-female, no; apsaraa na= apsara-female, no; pannagii na ca= pannaga-female, not, even; maanuSii tu kutaH bhavet= woman, but, where, will be.
"No goddess can be likened to that mature lady; a gandharva female - no; a apsara female - no; a pannaga female -no, then how can there be a woman of her like? [3-31-30]
tasya apahara bhaaryaam tvam tam pramathya mahaavane |
siitaayaa rahito raamo na ca eva hi bhaviSyati || 3-31-31
31. tvam= you; mahaavane= in great-forest - in wilderness, solitude; pramathya forcefully; tasya bhaaryaam apahara= his, wife, you steal - abduct; raamaH siitaayaa rahitaH= Rama, Seetha, reft of; na bhaviSyati eva hi= not, exists, that way, indeed.
"You forcefully abduct his wife when she is in solitude, and indeed Rama will not exist reft of Seetha." Akampana advised Ravana in this way. [3-31-31]
Govindaraja says that this Akampana is talking like an enlightened sage, and Maheshvara Tiirtha says that a divine wisdom has dawned on this spy just now. Then the question that arises is: How a sagacious spy prompted Ravana to abduct Seetha? There are two answers for this.
1. Any employee is a half-slave to his master, artha daasaa janaaH sarve as the money paid makes one a slave of the payer. This spy prompted Ravana in that way because he knows that Ravana is womaniser. Like-king-like-subjects yathaa raajaa tathaa prajaaH thus great-demons think alike. Further Ravana did not ask for the triggering point for the elimination of these many demons. If Ravana questions about it, Akampana had to say that Ravana's own sister Shuurpanakha wanted to debauch. Then Ravana's rage multiplies and he may even kill Akampana.
2. All the sages, including Agastya, have declared to Rama that they have planned to bring Rama to Janasthaana only to eliminate the demons at Janasthaana and going further from Janasthaana to Lanka and eliminating Ravana is Rama's headache. Which happens owing to Seetha. ˜nŸta× tvam imam deþam up˜yena maharÿibhi× || 3-30-35 Thus this sagacious Akampana is plotting to bring Seetha firstly, for whom Rama comes conquering Ravana, and then the demons on earth will be eradicated. Without Janasthaana Lanka is nothing but an open-door castle. So, the sages paved way for Rama through Janasthaana to Lanka.
arocayat tad vaakyam raavaNo raakshasa adhipaH |
ci.ntayitvaa mahaabaahuH aka.mpanam uvaaca || 3-31-32
32. raakshasa adhipaH raavaNaH= demons, chief, Ravana; tat vaakyam arocayat= that, word [idea,] favoured; mahaa baahuH= mighty armed Ravana; cintayitvaa= thought of it; akampanam uvaaca= to Akampana, spoke.
The chief of demons Ravana favouring that idea thought of it and that mighty armed Ravana then spoke to Akampana. [3-31-32]
baaDham kalyam gamiSyaami hi ekaH saarathinaa saha |
aaneSyaami ca vaidehiim imaam hR^iSTo mahaa puriim || 3-31-33
33. baaDham= Agreed!; kalyam= in early morning; ekaH= alone; saarathinaa saha= charioteer, with; gamiSyaami hi= i will go, indeed; hR^iSTaH= delightedly; vaidehiim imaam mahaa puriim= Vaidehi, to this, great, city - elegant Lanka; aaneSyaami ca= I wish to lead her in, also.
"Agreed! I wish to go alone early in the morning with a charioteer and I delightfully wish to lead Vaidehi into the elegant city Lanka." Ravana declared that way. [3-31-33]
tat evam uktvaa prayayau khara yuktena raavaNaH |
rathena aaditya varNena dishaH sarvaaH prakaashayan || 3-31-34
34. raavaNaH tat evam uktvaa= Ravana, that, that way, on saying; khara yuktena= mules [like animals,] yoked with; aaditya varNena= sun-like, in dazzle; rathena= with chariot; sarvaaH= dishaH prakaashayan= all, directions, making to glitter; prayayau= journeyed.
Saying so Ravana journeyed in a chariot that is yoked with mule-like horses, and that has the dazzling of the sun, whereby all the directions are made to glitter. [3-31-34]
sa ratho raakshasa i.ndrasya nakshatra pathago mahaan |
ca.ncuuryamaanaH shushubhe jalade ca.ndramaa iva || 3-31-35
35. raakshasa indrasya= of demon, lord; cancuuryamaanaH [sancaaryamaaNaH]= while speedily progressing; nakshatra patha gaH= on starry, way, while going; mahaan great one [opalescent chariot - French opale or Latin opalus, probably ultimately from Sanskrit upalas ‘precious stone']; saH rathaH= that, chariot; jalade candramaa iva= in clouds, moon, as with; shu shubhe= verily, shone forth.
That opalescent chariot of the lord of demons while speedily progressing through starry way shone forth as if it is the moon in clouds. [3-31-35]
sa duure ca aashramam gatvaa taaTakeyam upaagatam |
maariicena arcito raajaa bhakshya bhojyaiH amaanuSaiH || 3-31-36
36. saH= he that Ravana; duure= at a distant place; [maareecha] aashramam gatvaa= [Maareecha's,] to hermitage, on going; taaTakeyam upaagatam= by Taka's son, approached - received; a+maanuSaiH bhakshya bhojyaiH= unavailable, to humans, with sweetmeats, savouries; maariicena= by Maareecha; raajaa= king; arcitaH= is venerated.
On going to the hermitage of Maareecha which is at a distant place Maareecha the son of Tataka received Ravana and venerated that king of demons with sweetmeats and savouries that are unavailable to humans. [3-31-36]
The food items bhakshya are the supplementary items like laddu-s, jilebi, etc., and the like, whereas the bhojya items are boiled-rice, wheat-bread etc., the staple food items. The word a+maanuSaiH may also mean 'inhuman' but nowhere we find Ravana taking such a lowly food.
tam svayam puujayitvaa tu aasanena udakena ca |
artha upahitayaa vaacaa maariico vaakyam abraviit || 3-31-37
37. maariicaH tam aasanena udakena ca= Maareecha, him - Ravana, with [proper] seat, by water, also; svayam puujayitvaa tu= in person, on worshipping [attending to]; artha upahitayaa vaacaa= meaning, inclusive, words; vaakyam abraviit=, sentence, spoke.
Offering proper seat and water for washing feet and hands Maareecha personally attended Ravana and spoke to him this sentence that is worded meaningfully. [3-31-37]
kashcit sukushalam raajan lokaanaam raakshasaadhipa |
aasha.nke na atha jaane tvam yataH tuurNam upaagatam || 3-31-38
38. raakshasa adhipa raajan= to demons, being the supremo, oh, king; lokaanaam su kushalam kashcit= for subjects, verily, safe somehow - is everything well with your subjects, namely demons; atha= now; yataH= for what [reason]; tvam tuurNam upaagatam= you, rushingly, neared - came here; thereby; aashanke= I am anxious; na jaane= I do not, know.
"Oh, king and supremo of demons, I am anxious to know whether everything safe and secure to the inhabitants of your kingdom, for I am not in the know of the reason by which now you have come here rushingly. [3-31-38]
evam ukto mahaatejaa maariicena sa raavaNa |
tataH pashcaat idam vaakyam abraviit vaakya kovidaH || 3-31-39
39. maariicena evam uktaH= by Maareecha, thus, one who is said; mahaatejaa= great-radiant one; vaakya kovidaH= sentence, expert in making; saH raavaNa= he that, Ravana; tataH pashcaat= then, after - thereafter; idam vaakyam abraviit= this, sentence, spoke.
When Maareecha said so to him that greatly radiant one who is a sententious speaker that Ravana thereafter spoke this sentence. [3-31-39]
aaraksho me hataH taata raameNa akliSTa kaariNaa |
janasthaanam avadhyam tat sarvam yudhi nipaatitam || 3-31-40
tasya me kuru saacivyam tasya bhaarya apaharaNe |
40. taata= oh, sire - Maareecha; a + kliSTa kaariNaa raameNa= without, tiring, making [warring, indefatigable one,] by Rama; me= my; aarakshaH= one that safeguards - the army at Janasthaana; hataH= is ruined; tat sarvam= that, all of it; [so far] a+vadhyam= un, defeatable; janasthaanam= Janasthaana; yudhi nipaatitam= in war, down, brought - brought down, ruined; tasya me= such as I am; tasya= of that one - Rama's; bhaarya apaharaNe= wife's, in kidnapping; saacivyam kuru= friendly help, you render.
"Oh, sire, Rama who is indefatigable in warring has ruined my security stationed at Janasthaana, and in war he even brought down all of Janasthaana which is undefeatable so far, such as I am, to me you have to render friendly help in kidnapping Rama's wife." [3-31-40]
raakshasendra vacaH shrutvaa maariico vaakyam abraviit || 3-31-41
aakhyaataa kena vaa siitaa mitra ruupeNa shatruNaa |
tvayaa raakshasa shaarduula ko na na.ndati na.nditaH || 3-31-42
41a, 42. raakshasa indra vacaH shrutvaa= demon's, chief's, words, on hearing; maariicaH vaakyam abraviit= Maareecha, words, spoke; mitra ruupeNa shatruNaa= friend, in aspect [in fakery,] by enemy; kena= by whom; saa siitaa= she that, [topic of] Seetha; aakhyaataa= is broached; raakshasa shaarduula= oh, among demons, tiger; vaa= or else; ninditaH= a censurable one; kaH tvayaa na nandati= who is, not, happy [with you, for he is giving such a self-ruinous advise.]
On hearing the words of that chief of demons, Maareecha spoke these words, "who broached the subject of Seetha with you, an enemy in the fakery of a friend? Oh, tigerly demon, who is that censurable one that is unhappy with you, since he is giving such a self-ruinous advise? [3-31-42]
siitaam iha aanasva iti ko braviiti braviihi me |
raksho lokasya sarvasya kaH shR^i.ngam cChettum icChati || 3-31-43
43. siitaam iha aanasva iti= Seetha, here, be brought, thus as; kaH braviiti= who, says; me braviihi= that you say it, to me; kaH= who is; sarvasya rakshaH lokasya= all of the, demons, to the throng of; shR^ingam [shR^ingam praadhaanyaso... amara kosha]= peak [prominent one]; cChettum icChati= who, to cut off, desiring to.
" 'Seetha may be brought to Lanka...' who said it, say him to me, who is that one desiring to cut off the prominence of all the demons in all worlds in saying so?
"Who is desirous of getting a zenithal demon ruling all the three worlds to be cut-off when he said that Seetha shall be brought to Lanka?
"Who is saying that Seetha is to be brought to Lanka with a desire to get your apogeal ten-heads that are prominent among all the clansmen of demons to be cut-off? [3-31-43]
protsaahayati yaH ca tvam sa ca shatruH asa.mshayam |
aashii mukhaat da.mSTraam uddhartum ca icChati tvayaa || 3-31-44
44. yaH tvam protsaahayati= he who is, you, encouraging; saH shatruH= he is, an enemy; a+ samshayam= without, doubt; tvayaa= by you; aashii mukhaat= from snake's, mouth, damSTraam= fangs; uddhartum icChati ca= to extricate, desiring, also, [through you.]
"Also, he who has motivated you in this way is an undoubted enemy of yours, for he wanted to extricate the fangs of a snake from its mouth, of course, through you. [3-31-44]
karmaNaa anena kena asi kaapatham pratipaaditaH |
sukha suptasya te raajan prahR^itam kena muurdhani || 3-31-45
45. kena= by whom; kena karmaNaa= by which, for [which] purpose; kaa patham pratipaaditaH asi= awry, path, attained [blundered upon,] you have; raajan= oh, king; sukha suptasya= comfortably, sleeping - fast asleep; te muurdhani= on your, forehead; anena pra hR^itam= by him, well, hit.
"By whom and by which purpose of his you are made to blunder upon this awry path, oh, king, it is as good as his hitting hard on your head while you are fast asleep. [3-31-45]
vishuddha va.msha abhijanaa agra hastaH
tejo madaH sa.msthita dor??? viSaaNaH |
udiikshitum raavaNa na iha yuktaH
sa sa.myuge raaghava gandhi hastii || 3-31-46
46. raavaNa= oh, Ravana; vi shuddha vamsha abhi janaa agra hastaH= very, pure, dynasty close, people, fore, hand - one which has a impeccable dynasty and a good bloodline as its trunk; tejaH madaH= brilliance, as its rut - one that has radiance as its might; samsthita dor viSaaNaH= very firm, arms, as its tusks - one that has two tusks as firm arms; saH= he that; raaghava gandhi hastii= Raghava, redolent, elephant; samyuge= in war; udiikshitum= to raise eye and see; iha= now; na yuktaH= not, befitting.
"Oh, Ravana, it will be unbefitting to raise an eye to see Rama in war, who will be then like a majestic elephant that has an impeccable dynasty and bloodline as its mammoth trunk, personal radiance as its indomitable might, very firm pair of arms as its pernicious tusks, more so, who will be with the redolence of the irrepressible lineage of Raghava-s. [3-31-46]
asau raNa antaH sthiti sa.mdhi vaalaH
vidagdha raksho mR^iga haa nR^isi.mhaH |
suptaH tvayaa bodhayitum na shakyaH
shaaraa.nga purNo nishita asi da.mSTRaH || 3-31-47
47. raNa antaH sthiti sandhi vaalaH= in war, being in midst, on trunk, touching, tail - to be in the midst of war itself is the fury of that lion, by which its tail raises and touches the back of its trunk; vidagdha rakshaH mR^iga haa= expert, demon, deer, killer - that lion is the killer of the expert killers, namely the demons; shaara anga purNaH= arrows, as it limbs, full-fledged with, accomplished with; that lion's sturdy limbs are its arrows; nishita asi damSTRaH= sharp, sword, fanged with; that lion's fangs are its swords; suptaH asau nR^i simhaH= sleeping one, man, lion; tvayaa bodhayitum na shakyaH= by you, to become aware of [to awaken,] not, possible - do not dare to rouse it.
"To be in the midst of war itself is the fury of that lion called Rama, by which that lion raises its tail touching the back of its trunk, that lion is all-inclusive with forelegs, paws, and claws that are included in arrows, while its fangs are swords, and it is the killer of the deer called the expert killer-demons, and mind you, do not dare to rouse that sleeping man-lion. [3-31-47]
The nara-simha, man-lion incarnation is suggested here.
caapaapahaare bhuja vega pa.nke
shara uurmimaale su mahaa aahava oghe |
na raama paataala mukhe ati ghore
praskanditum raakshasa raaja yuktam || 3-31-48
47. raakshasa raaja= oh, demons, king; caapa apahaare= bow, as crocodile; bhuja vega panke= arm's, speed, as slough [quagmire]; shara uurmimaale= arrows, as tides; su mahaa aahava oghe= with great, immensity, war, called tideland; ati ghore= very, dangerous; in such a; raama paataala mukhe= in Rama [named,] netherworld - abyssal ocean, in mouth of; pra skanditum [na ] yuktam= verily, to slide, not, apt.
"His bow is crocodilian, his shoulder-speed is quagmire, his arrows are tidal, and the great immensity of his war itself is a tideland, and oh, king of demons, it is inapt of you to slide down into the much-ghoulish mouth of that abyssal ocean, called Rama. [3-31-48]
The crocodile catches at the very moment of falling of its prey, the arrows make one to sink into a quagmire without any hope of coming up, and when the arrows once discharged tidally, the battlefield becomes a tideland inundated with his arrows. Thus, it is impossible to crossover that oceanic netherworld, called Rama. Tiirtha.
prasiida la.nkeshvara raakshasendra
la.nkaam prasanno bhava saadhu gacCha |
tvam sveSu daareSu ramasva nityam
raamaH sa bhaaryo ramataam vaneSu || 3-31-49
49. lankeshvara raakshasendra= lord of Lanka, demon-king; prasiida= be appeased [towards Rama]; saadhu lankaam gacCha= gently, to Lanka, you proceed; prasannaH bhava= be quietened, you be; tvam nityam sveSu daareSu ramasva= you, always, in your, wives, you take delight; raamaH sa bhaarya vaneSu ramataam= Rama, with his, wife, in forest, let him be delighting.
"Oh, lord of Lanka, be appeased towards Rama, be quietened and gently proceed to Lanka. You take delight in your wives, and let Rama be delighting with wife in forests." Thus Mareecha spoke to Ravana. [3-31-49]
Suffix: 'forgive what has happened, remit a disastrous war on Lanka, be pleased with what you have and be content with it, holdback your greediness...'
evam ukto dashagriivo maariicena sa raavaNaH |
nyavartata puriim la.nkaam vivesha ca gR^iha uttamam || 3-31-50
50. maariicena evam uktaH= by Maareecha, this way, who is spoken dashagriivaH saH raavaNaH= ten faced, he that, Ravana; lankaam puriim nyavartata= to Lanka, city, returned; gR^iha uttamam vivesha ca= house - palace, best one, entered, also.
When thus said by Maareecha that ten faced Ravana returned to his city Lanka and entered his best house and home. [3-31-50]
This chapter is a scarecrow to the aesthetics of Ramayana and a milestone to commentators of Ramayana. We usually find in Ramayana spectacular entrances for cities, characters, and situations. Before such a fantastic entrance of Ravana, for which a full sarga/chapter is allotted, this chapter is said to be a glaring hurdle. In here, this Akampana is glorified as a sagacious person, yet he gives advise to Ravana to abduct Seetha. This advice is said to contain the setting of the ultimate war-field in Lanka. But, the weight of the very same advise by Shuurpanakha is lost to this of a spy. Shuurpanakha's intent is very clear, but the meaning, purpose and the achievement of this spy is very unclear, except to that which is said by commentators.
Ravana on going to Maareecha, and hearing all indirect puraNa-s 'mythologies...' returns to Lanka as a gentleman. If he were to be this gentle, Ramayana would not be there. But Maheshvara Tiirtha, the commentator say: ata eva r˜vaõasya sŸt˜ r˜ma bh®tyatvena t˜ uddisya tena vakÿyam˜õ˜ni b˜hya d®ÿ÷y˜ durbh˜ÿaõa vat pratŸyam˜n˜ni api v˜ky˜ni - - vastuta× stuti par˜õi eva Maheshvara Tiirtha 'Though the utterances of Ravana apparently mean as vile, but their subtext is that of a devotee of Vishnu.'
If Ravana is a true devotee, basing on many mythologies and sub-mythologies, the way in which he treated Seetha in Lanka is evident and it pictures him as a clear-cut villain. Thus another commentator, Rama Tilaka, whose aim is to elicit literary values of Ramayana, dismisses all this. Whether this chapter is interpolated or original, this is included in traditional versions, and hence it is to be sincerely incorporated because commentators have said a lot about it. So goes the tradition.
iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye araNya kaaNDe eka tri.msha sargaH
Thus, this is the 31st chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
|Top of Page||1||2||3||4|
© June, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : July 04]